EU legislating for them to have artificially generated noise....
Comfort and Refinement
One of the great boons of a battery-powered vehicle is its quietness, so much so that serious consideration is being given to the EU legislating for them to have artificially generated noise, to alert pedestrians who might otherwise step into the road unaware of the looming presence of a vehicle. The e-up! is certainly quiet in operation, although like any electric car it is not completely silent: there is a faint whirring from the electric motor doing its work. Even so, by any standards this is a pretty quiet car.
Comfort is inhibited by the car’s diminutive size, and also by the stiffly upholstered nature of the seat design. The u-up! is reasonably comfortable, but the seats are certainly on the firm side.
Safety and Security
Safety is always something of a concern in a very small car, because you are inevitably closer to any collision than you would be in a more substantial vehicle. Fortunately the e-up! is well-regarded from a safety viewpoint because it has almost exactly the same chassis and structure as a combustion engine Volkswagen up and therefore has the same Euro NCAP crash test safety rating. Security is well catered for too with an immobilser and remote central locking with an alarm.
The e-up! has a very adequate level of equipment. It comes with standard alloy wheels, remote central locking, electric front windows and mirrors, a rear parking sensor, cruise control, Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity and satellite navigation. There is no air conditioning, because it uses too much energy and can seriously handicap the range of an electric car, so with a blower but no chilling it can be a bit warm on a summer day in this car.
- Citroen C-Zero
- Mitsubishi i-MIEV
- Peugeot iOn
- Renault Zoe
What We Liked
- Brisk acceleration for a little car
- Good build quality, as you’d expect of a Volkswagen
- Full five star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests
- Smart looking with crisp styling
- Zero emissions, at least at the tail pipe
- Can plug into a standard three-pin electric power point
- Fast charging in half an hour via a high-input supercharger
- Low cost of recharging, much less than buying petrol or diesel
- Reasonable ride quality and handling
- Perfect for short-distance commuting
- Congestion charge exempt
What We Disliked
- High price, it’s very expensive for a small car
- Range anxiety, it’ll be out of juice within 100 miles
- Range reduces in winter, affected by cold weather and the need to use the heater, demister, wipers
- Use its performance liberally and the battery range drops rapidly
- Steering feel is pretty numb
- Can’t do a long journey without frequent recharging stops.
What We Would Like To See
- Longer Range
Electric cars have their limitations: restricted range, the handicapping effect of cold weather, and the much higher price than an equivalent fossil fuel combustion engine model. They also have strong attributes: minimal fuel costs, very clean running, and the satisfaction of knowing you are driving one of the greenest cars on the road. If an electric car suits your short-range commuter motoring needs, this one is certainly worth looking at, as one of the best-built, best-driving EVs (electric vehicles) on the market.22 May 2014
Volkswagen up Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volkswagen e-up!|
|Body Type||4-door Hatchback|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||12.4 Seconds|
|Top Speed||81 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5-Star|
|Warranty||3 Years / 60,000|
|Price (when tested on the 22/05/14)||£24,250|